It seems to me that there is an increase in the number of cases where judges are critical of the way in which litigation is conducted. It may be just that we are living in a less deferential age and judges may just be saying what they have been thinking for years.

My concern is that as a profession (and by that I mean the entire legal profession) we are not paying enough attention to the duties of lawyers in litigation. Lawyers have always occupied an uncomfortable position at the heart of the administration of justice. On the one hand, putting their client's case fearlessly but on the other ensuring justice is done. Judges look to the lawyers to assist them in getting to the right answer. When that asssitance is absent you can understand why they may get grumpy.

The obligations of a lawyer in relation to litigation have in some ways been taken as a given. I sense we may be moving into an age where we need to be more careful that we are getting the balance right. Easier said than done.